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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Family fear man left waiting a week for urgent spinal surgery will be paralysed

Injured: Paul Brazil has been in St James’s Hospital for a week
Injured: Paul Brazil has been in St James’s Hospital for a week
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

A man who suffered a serious spinal injury playing a football match is still waiting on urgent surgery a week later due to a shortage of hospital beds.

Paul Brazil (38) from Dublin 7 has been lying in a bed in St James's Hospital in a neck brace, unable to move in case he aggravates his injuries.

However, he needs to be transferred to the Mater Hospital for surgery to his spine.

St James's can't give him the specialist treatment he requires, and can't transfer him to the Mater Hospital as there is no bed available there.

Paul was playing in a football match and sustained the serious injury after a tackle.

He and his family have been told he has a ruptured disc in his neck and two breaks in his spine. Sister Karen Brazil said her brother was "screaming in agony" when he was injured. He was rushed to St James's Hospital as it was the closest emergency department.

"We were told it would be a day or two," Karen told the Irish Independent. "We're worried how bad my brother will be because of this wait - could he be left paralysed?"

The Mater Hospital and St James's said they do not comment on individual cases.

Paul's situation prompted one nurse at St James's Hospital to write an open letter to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Facebook: "Taoiseach...it's not nursing staff that have caused the bed crisis…It is not the consultant or his team causing the crisis...they are ready to operate. Taoiseach there are NO beds!"

Karen said: "No one in the HSE is listening. And I will hold Simon Harris and the Taoiseach personally responsible if my brother ends up paralysed because of this wait."

Irish Independent

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